In Which Basements Are Slandered

Today Cisco figured out how to fit the behemoth bookcase and both desks into the office, thereby saving me from certain death by dementors. For a dicey twenty-four hours the plan was to move my desk down to the bowels of the basement, and while that might have worked wonders for creative writing, it wouldn’t have been so good for my sanity. Cisco is wired to feel most at home in dark, cavelike spaces, I am wired to go down there only under Nobody Has Clean Underpants duress. Maybe someday we’ll have a house with an upstairs laundry room, but in order for that to happen here I’d have to put the washing machine on top of the toilet and use the dryer as a nightstand. It would be warm in the Winter though…

Basements have always given me the creeps, starting with my parents’. Theirs is a twisting, dark, spidery sort of basement with rooms off of rooms, all full of who-knows-what. Bats, probably. When my oldest sister was little she was convinced it was filled with flesh-eating white monkeys. Yeah, you think about that for a minute.

My own fears weren’t quite so specific. They were more of the run-up-the-stairs-as-fast-as-you-can-because-something-is-about-to-grab-your-ankle variety, but oh, were they intense. The annual expedition to retrieve the Christmas ornaments, way way off in the deepest, darkest, no-one-can-hear-you-scream corner of the basement was a festive kind of horror.

I guess, compared to that, our basement isn’t so bad. It’s much smaller, and a good part of it is more or less finished, so that’s nice. It’s a great spot to send kids when they’re feeling tribal, and it’s cool in the Summer. Cisco has a “workroom”, tools hung lovingly on pegboard. (He would want me to tell you that he fixes stuff, too. He fixes stuff, too.) And I have the laundry room, littered with empty detergent bottles. They give it a homey feel.

I’m grateful to have a laundry room – don’t think that’s lost on me. I’m just more grateful that that’s the only reason I have to go down there, ever ever ever.

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